Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Bitter Fruit, the video by Paul Fusco
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Out of Balance
In the desert, we spend time preparing for our three day solo, then after we have returned from our solo, we spend time telling our stories and preparing for the return to our "homes" that are in what some might consider "the real world". During our three day solo, we are each alone in a sacred place of our choosing, out away from everyone else. We have no food for those three days and nights, only water, and we have no tent, only a tarp to protect from rain. Before we go out on our own, we are taught good skills, some of which include spiritual rituals to take us deeper into our being and help us be more in tune with the earth.
So, coming from this deep place of slow rhythms and seeing all as holy, I still ponder the events that one of our fellow questers experienced. During his solo, he came upon a man and his pet pit bull. The man was carrying a pistol. My friend tried to avoid contact with the man, since we are there to be alone, but the dog, having dog nature, ran up to greet my friend. In their conversation, my friend found out that the man works for the oil industry and is burned out, so was out in the desert shooting rabbits to relax.
Hard to understand the relaxation that can be brought about by the killing of a sentient being. But when I think of the raping of the land that is required to constantly quench our thirst for oil and gas, when I think of the way that we work humans to death to raise profits and the stress to be had when one knows that there are limits to the natural resources we are draining, causing us to wheel and deal and kill and lie to get all that we can from wherever it is, when I think of all of these things, I understand, somewhat, where this oil man was coming from. When we are out of balance, violence can seem like a reasonable path to finding the peace that we are looking for. Like striking out at someone we love when we are hurting inside, thus making ourselves more alone and hurting. It is hard, when we feel agitated and confused, to slow down and be willing to suffer the effects of our imbalance, to just be with the pain and hear the wisdom it has to offer. If that man did just that, he might hear inside himself, the calling to quit his job. Or he might change relationships. Maybe stuff like that is harder than taking a rabbit's life.
Now THAT's Fearlessness
Monday, October 24, 2005
Yeah, That's Me!
So my wonderful friend, Leila - who now lives in Oklahoma :-( - asks if that is me on the right near the end in the photo below. I am the one at the very end of the banner - so the second woman from the right in the photo. Three of us started a Women in Black vigil after we traveled to Camp Casey in Crawford, TX in August. We KNEW (because we witnessed it) that there is a major peace movement that is alive and well in the U.S., and we were energized to be contributors to the growth of it. Our Women in Black vigil at the Colorado Mills shopping mall on Saturdays from 12:30 to 1:30 is one of our contributions to the movement - waking up suburban America and giving voice (in silence) to people who know that killing is not the way to end killing in our world.
Back to Leila
Leila is an American Muslim. Not only is she brilliant, but she is a bridge builder. She has done so much to educate me on Islam! To be in the presence of a well-read American who CHOSE to become Muslim and sees Islam from that perspective is such a gift! Think about someone who was raised Christian and has remained Christian all of their lives. They have no experience of seeing Christianity from the outside. Leila brings an objectivity to Islam because she has studied it and chosen it as an adult. Non-Muslim Americans have such a bias against Islam, and it only shows our ignorance. Please visit Leila's Sister Scorpion blog to learn more about her. We need more people to educate us on different religions and ways of life, so that we don't get so pious and think that we are the "chosen ones".
God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he [she] allow only one way to serve him [her]? ~Martin Buber
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Women in Black
i know the pain of childbirth
of tears when a child suffers
i labor to bring life
i sweat to nurture it
i stand strong to protect it
until your womb has opened
to manifest love's creation
until you know suffering for another
until you know the sanctity of life
to the wisdom of the mothers
Friday, October 14, 2005
More on Fear
To take things a step further, I would have to say that from my experience and observation, we can act while experiencing fear, but we will usually act more wisely, more impeccably, if we come from a clear head of non-fear - an inner place of the very peace that we are craving in our world.
If we feel called upon to "lift the whole of humanity", we need to work on fearlessness. By facing our fears, we can develop this strength - not by escaping into shopping, television or other diversions, but by being with our deepest selves and facing the "un-faceable" through meditation, prayer, love, fasting, solos, and just plain walking where we are afraid to walk. As Pema Chodron says in When Things Fall Apart, "Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us." When we find "that which is indestructible" within ourselves, we are free.
In order to be free of fear, we must have a passion for our life and our mission in life. When I speak about my passion, when I act from my inner passion, I am focused and embodying love, and fear has no space to enter. Are we really passionate about peace and social justice? Or does the concept sound nice as long as we don't have to do anything too scary? If it is truly in our hearts, we will move in congruence with our passion. Then other feelings will be like a fly that lands lightly on our shirtsleeve and is not given a thought.
Our parents, our government, and the media try to feed us fear everyday. But they also try to feed us white bread, GMO grains, and pesticide-laden vegetables. I don't choose to eat those "foods" and I don't choose to eat the acid of fear either.
"And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." MLK, Jr.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Freedom from Fear
In order to "stand up and be counted", all over the world, women stand in silence for peace. We have started a Women in Black vigil here in Lakewood, Colorado on Saturdays. I will write more about it later. For more info regarding WIB, check out: